Paramedics issue warning following spike in near-drownings and snake bites

WITH warm weather opening the festive holidays, paramedics are warning Queenslanders to be extra vigilant following a spate of near-drownings and snake bites across the state.

Stumbling across a loved one floating face-down in a swimming pool is a notion that would fill any parent with dread, yet multiple Queensland families have had their worst fears realised over the past few weeks.

Assistant Commissioner of the Gold Coast Local Ambulance Service Network John Hammond said it was never easy for a first responder to attend a drowning case involving children.


“Drowning is a significant risk for small children, which is why it is important to know who is responsible for supervising them, and ensure this supervision is paramount around any water,” he said.

“Many parents think they may hear their child if they were in trouble, but small children often make no sound at all when drowning and it can happen in seconds, resulting in untold heartache for families.”

With early intervention providing positive outcomes from near-drowning incidents this summer, Mr Hammond highlighted the importance of quickly administering first aid.

“Correctly administering first aid can mean the difference between life and death. We regularly hear of cases where family members have applied first aid, especially CPR, which resulted in saving a life,” he said.

Mr Hammond also urged parents to be vigilant near creeks, dams and beaches as those areas pose similar drowning risks to backyard and resort pools.

“If you’re swimming in a natural body of water, make sure there are no hazards beneath the water and never dive in before testing the depth as this may result in serious injuries,” he said.

“In the event of an emergency, always call Triple Zero (000) immediately.”

Similarly, a spike in snake activity has also caught paramedics’ attention, with two reported bites in the Gold Coast region over the past week resulting in hospitalisation.

Mr Hammond warned Gold Coasters to be cautious throughout the warm months, as snakes become more active.

“When it comes to snake bites, prevention is always better than cure. It’s recommended people take extra care to avoid snakes at this time of year,” he said.

“Avoid walking through long grass where possible, wear sturdy enclosed shoes outside, carry a good quality compression bandage with you, and most importantly – never try to catch or interact with a snake.”

If a snake bite does occur, call Triple Zero (000) immediately, and keep the patient as calm as possible.

“Avoid washing the wound, as hospitals may test the bandage for poison to help identify the snake,” he said.